Ahma

I was at the University of Minnesota, first as an undergrad, then as an employee and grad student, from the late 1970s through most of the 1980s.

During that time (and still?), the University had a strong feminist contingent. One of the things they did was scratch out the word ‘women’ on most of the restroom doors and scratch in or paint on ‘womyn.’ Sometimes it was spelled ‘wymyn.’ There were inconsistencies.

When I was thinking about how to close my morning meditation, ‘namaste’ didn’t seem right—this wasn’t a yoga class and it felt like cultural appropriation.

‘Amen’ didn’t seem right either. This wasn’t church and the feminist inside me wondered about the ‘men’ part. (I’ve since learned that ‘amen’ is used to similar purpose in Hebrew, Christian, and Islamic worship.)

So, I made up a word. I liked the way it sounded. It reminded me of what a friend’s grandchildren call her. And even though it’s made up, it’s a real word. In Finnish, it means ‘wolverine.’

At this point in the meditation, I take a breath and bring my hands out to my sides and up over my head, then bring them down into prayer position and say the word.

Ahma.

A tree carved on found whalebone, set in old wood

This is the end of the meditation. I thank myself for meditating by bringing my palms up across my face, then over the top of my head, down the back of my neck (sort of like showering without water), and let them rest folded over my heart, where I set my intention for the day.

Then I reward myself by rubbing my feet.

It feels so good!

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Meditation to Go

Here is the script for the entire meditation, and here is the breath, movement, and references detail.

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Chewing the Cud of Good

Grey striped and woven textured cloth

Thankful for life’s little pleasures, like the way my shoes and socks and new leggings look together.

Close up of a grey suede shoe with grey and white striped socks with grey leggings

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